ACC champion to hold wrestling camp

COVINGTON —They say that it’s always good to learn from one of the best. Those interested in wrestling will have that chance to learn from one of the best as ACC Wrestler of the Year and three-time Georgia state champion Pete Yates participates in a three-day camp at Game Time in Covington starting Monday.

Yates and camp coordinators Joey Montgomery and Cody Durden, both former Eastside wrestlers, will teach fundamentals while going further in depth for the more advanced students.

“They can expect to see things that I’ve had success with at every level — elementary, middle school, high school and college,” Yates said. “Some people need to focus on fundamentals and others are a little more advanced so I break down the details. You bring all the kids in and show them different techniques and work with them. I’ll have Joey and Cody and maybe a few others so it’ll be as individualized as possible.”

Besides being ACC Wrestler of the Year in 2013 and a three-time state champion, Yates is a two-time NCAA All-American (2012, 2013), two-time ACC Champion (2012, 2013) and earned the ACC Most Valuable Wrestler in 2012. He finished his career at Virginia Tech with 131 wins, the second most in school history, is the sixth wrestler at Virginia Tech to have more than 100 wins and had 64 dual meet wins in a season which was also the second most in school history.

While at Salem, he ranked fifth in the nation in the 145-pound division according to the InterMat’s final rankings, was Georgia State Wrestler of the Year his senior season and compiled a 161-1 record in his career. His only loss, on points in a close dual, was during the finals at the state meet his freshman year.

“It’s an amazing opportunity not just for us but the entire community. It’s a great experience to have somebody of his level here,” said Chris Walker, Director of Business Operations at Game Time. “We’re the only program in Newton County, outside of schools, that offers wrestling. They (Montgomery and Durden) want to use the money to buy mats to increase the program so that Newton County can have a bigger program.”

The cost for the three-day camp is $55 per wrestler and only $35 for each additional sibling. The camp begins at 9 a.m. and lasts until 1 p.m. Wrestlers need to bring their own lunch.

“I had a lot of great coaches growing up and I owe a lot of people for my success. I’m not just representing myself when I wrestle, I represent all my coaches and where I came from. Doing camps, especially in my home town area, is a great way to give back a little bit,” Yates said.

“I just think that wrestling is a great sport. Wrestling has taught me the importance of hard work, persistence and setting goals. I’ve learned so much from the sport and it feels great to give back a little bit of what I’ve learned. I want to help grow the sport, especially in the South where it’s not as big.”